The accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing knee pathology in the pediatric and adolescent population is not well established. The purpose of this study was to correlate the findings of MRI and knee arthroscopy in children and adolescents. One hundred and eight consecutive knee arthroscopies performed in patients ages 4-17 years between 1992 and 1996 were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty-three of these patients underwent preoperative MRI. Age-related comparisons were then made between MRIs and observed intraoperative meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament pathology. The pediatric group (ages 4-14 years) was demonstrated to have an appreciable decrease in sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and accuracy for essentially all categories of pathologic changes. Conversely, negative predictive values for the pediatric group exceeded those of the adolescent group (ages 15-17 years) in each category. The ability of MRI to predict intraarticular knee pathology among adolescents is comparable to that in adults, whereas it is much less accurate in the pediatric population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine